Bringing up children can be a confusing experience at the best of times. Bringing up children in another country, and another language, can add several extra layers of confusion.
The reality prompted reader - and mum-of-two-and-a-half - Sally Onn, from Toulouse, to put pen to paper with a light-hearted poem about the linguistic terms with which new parents are bombarded that had us all smiling in the office. We're publishing it here with her permission.
If your loulou needs a dodo
But you cannot find his doudou
Then perhaps it’s at the crèche
Or did he leave it with the nounou?
When he wakes it’s time to play
So get out all the joujou
He can brush his dolly’s hair
Then dress it up with chouchous.
If he’s hungry then perhaps
He would like a little coco.
Or maybe just his bibi
Full of lovely fresh warm lolo.
Perhaps by now your chouchou
Has become a little foufou
So go out for a nice long walk
And don’t forget his toutou.
If he falls down in the park
And gets a nasty bobo
Then it’s time to head back home
And have another dodo!
Just in case your infant French is a little rusty, here is a quick glossary:
Dodo - nap | doudou - comforter / soft toy | nounou - nanny. Akin to a childminder in the UK | joujou - toys (this is one of only seven words in French ending in -ou that do not take an x in the plural) | chouchous - scrunchie | bibi - bottle | lolo - milk | chouchou - a term of endearment for children | foufou - scatty | toutou - doggy | bobo - slight injury or bump